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story later on on "gma." >>> we turn to a change of the top of the catholic church. pope benedict made the bombshell announcement he is stepping down. >> at age 85, the pope says he cannot keep up with the job. nick schifrin joins us from rome with more. good morning, nick. >> reporter: good morning, rob. good morning, diana. pope benedict is a shy leader. but he's unpredictable, unprecedented. and it might just guarantee his legacy. at 85, he is silver-haired and cerebral and says he simply can't keep up. pope benedict xvi tells his cardinals in latin, quote, i had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. in the last year, benedict grew increasingly frail. >> he certainly slowed down a bit. you could tell he had trouble negotiating steps. he started using the cane several months ago. >> reporter: but the german pope never slowed down, putting the church on an orthodox path. he opposed homosexuality and female priests. he tried to heal wounds, apologizing to victims of sexual abuse. >> they have to come to terms with the priest scandal. they have t
deeply loves the church. >> reporter: pope benedict has kept the catholic church steadfast on a traditional path. but he leaves it beset by scandal, which the next pope will have to tackle head-on. >> it's 1.2 billion souls on the world. he's the only faith leader with such a big flock. and as i say, who else rules 1 billion people, other than the heads of china and india? >> reporter: he's considered one of the greatest living theologian. always more comfortable with books than with crowds. that's where he will return. benedict will disappear from public view, dedicating himself entirely to prayer and meditation. >> he was not a great administrator. he was a teacher. he was a german professor. he was a man, an intellect on the level of one of the greats like hagel or plato. >> that was abc's nick schifrin in rome. after benedict says good-bye to the church's cardinals, he flies by helicopter to the papal retreat. he will offer a blessing from the balcony and then shut the door. in his own words, benedict will be hidden for the rest of his life. >>> and it is a very busy mo
, breaking news. pope benedict is abdicating, something a pope has not done in over 700 years of the the vatican saying this has nothing to do with outside pressures. [ speaking foreign language ] >> as you hear there, the pope speaking in latin to a meeting of vatican cardinals saying he will step down effective as the leader of the world's -- the 85-year-old pontiff saying his strength is no longer adequate. this news took fearly everyone by surprise, including the archbishop of new york, cardinal dolan. >> i'm as startled as the rest of you and anxious to find out exactly what's going on. >>> other reactions italy's prime minister saying he's greatly shaken by the unexpected news. >>> and british prime minister david cameron said he will be missed as a spiritual leader for millions. >>> and from angela merkel -- he had to make a difficult decision. just some of the reaction that's coming in today. joining mess is rome bureau chief claudio lavagna, and george weigel from washington. claudio, i want to start with you. we have part of the pope's statement. in it he said that b
this was coming? >> reporter: we possibly benedict xvi even hinted at it himself, he said if he felt his strength and his body wasn't up to speed to comply with the duties that were -- that are expected of a pontiff, and very heavy duties like traveling around, attending ceremonies, working nonstop. at 85, that's tiring for everybody, for any man his age, let alone a pontiff and the pope and leader of 1 billion catholics around the world, but nobody really believed that would happen or nobody believed that would happen before at least next year, because this, maybe i remind you, is the year of the faith. so that came as a surprise to everybody, as you heard card natural dolan doesn't know about it. certainly he is not the only one, because the spokesperson for the vatican even said he was shocked. he didn't see it coming, and so didn't his closest aides. >> as we know, when benedict was named as pope, he was one of the oldest popes to take over that job. george, let me talk to you about the fact that we are hearing all the different reactions coming in now just from house speaker john boehner, sa
event. benedict's decision to resign sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope. by mid-march. by any luck, that would mean a po new pope would be in place before easter. ash wednesday begins this week. the most important 40 days in the catholic calendar. >> the most significant spiritual period. let's bring in dan harris. good morning, dan. >> this is rare, historic and a complete surprise to the people around the pope. this morning, in rome, he convened a meeting of top church officials. reading a statement in latin saying that he'll resign effective february 28th at 8:00 p.m. local time. he said in the last few months, that his mind and body, have quote, deteriorated. >> i'm shocked and startled as of all of you. >> reporter: this morning, reaction from new york's cardinal dolan. >> there's a somberness there. there's a sadness there. >> reporter: benedict, who's 85 years old, has been pope since april 2005 who took over for the immensely popular pope john paul ii. his papacy has been marked by controversy. the pope criticized for how he handled the situation in his p
chance to see benedict xvi in the pope mobile. one final chance to see him speak. >> this is such a monumental time. no pope has resigned, the way he has done. and it's something that we have to see. >> reporter: tomorrow, benedict will officially retire to quiet prayer and meditation. the beatification will be captured live by 26 cameras. spectators started lining up before sunrise. they're full of devotion. benedict made the catholic church deeply concerned by corruption, cronyism and scandal. one of his final private meetings with the so-called 007 cardinals, who reportedly wrote about gay priests and blackmail in a controversial dossier. los angeles cardinal mahoney is here, even though he resigned and is accused of sealing the crimes of pedophile priests. >> i don't know if he said there's all these scandals, i have to resign. i think the weight of the job on someone who is relatively frail and very old, you know, just took its toll. and it was time for him to go. >> reporter: benedict will live in this converted convent and become pope emeritus. he will give
we are stuck in the stalemate. pope benedict xvi prepares to leave the vatican and his departure is over an hour from now. we will have the latest on his emotional farewell and what happens next in picking his successor. then back at home, the day at the supreme court over a challenge to the voting rights act. two big city mayors from states that could be affected by any changes. >> good morning from birmingham, michigan. it's february 28th, 2013 and this is chuck todd. >> i think you are a spartans fan. i saw green. i hope i'm not wrong. the end of an era to the catholic church. unprecedented in modern times. we are counting down to a pope's retirement. the final hours as pontiff. he spent his last day meeting with cardinals and pledging unconditional obedience to his successor. the arch bishop of new york was in the room and described the meeting on the today show this morning. >> we catholics call him the holy father. the italians call him il papa. to see him fragile and having what i consider to be a remarkably humble and courageous decision, it was very moving and a tender m
the final brief appearance there. and the final end to the benedict papacy comes four hours from now when the doors of gandolfo close and they leave. let's go down to keir simmons covering it all for us. kear, good morning to you. >> reporter: hey, savannah, good morning, the saints looking down on the square have not seen a day like this in medieval times. in the papal palace, over my shoulder here, the pope, as you say, has been meeting were his cardinals, tells them, i'll be with you in prayer. dawn across rome. this city has seen more than 260 pontiffs, only two popes passed in the last thousand years have left like this. the cardinals, princes of the church, gathered this morning for a warm farewell to pope benedict. some cardinals wants to speak to him for as long as possible. pope benedict will resign just after sunset. this home, this beautiful summer palace, quiet after a frantzic few weeks. >> at 8:00 exactly, he will stop being pope, the swiss guards who stand guard outside the palace and he'll go. >> reporter: rough seas he admitted yesterday and now the task begins of choosin
>>> good morning, america. major bulletin right now. pope benedict resign ifs a stunning announcement at the vatican. citing his advanced age and diminishing strength. the first pep to step down in almost 600 years. what this means for the catholic church. >>> going across the interstate. >> and breaking now, tornadoes slam the south. this massive twister through a town at the dinner hour. dozens of people injured. hundreds of homes destroyed. it looked like it was amile wide. new blizzards right now. >>> and good morning, america. a huge headline right now. pope benedict xvi moments ago making this announcement. speaking in lat on the a group of cardinals. and announcing his rezization. after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to a certainty that my strengths, due to advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate carrying out of the ministry. >> the last pope to resign was pope gregory xii, almost 60 years ago. benedict's rescission to resign sets the stage for a clooichb to be -- conclave, to elect a new pope. ash wednesday begins this we
>>> benedict xvi becomes the first pope to abdicate in 700 years. >> his final day begins with a meeting with the cardinals who lined up one by one to say their personal good-byes. as the pope pledged unconditional obedience to his successor. >> we catholics call him our holy father. he is like the papa, the daddy of the family, and to see this gentle, learned, lovely holy man, to see him very fragile, to see him having made what i consider to be a remarkably humble and courageous decision, it was very moving. it was a very tender movement. >> pope benedict then left the vatican by helicopter to begin his retirement at castle gondolpho where emrerjed a while ago to greet well wishers who have gathered in the paizza. piazza. the papal summer retreat will be benedict's temporary residence. he will be watching from the sidelines as the cardinals begin the task of choosing a new leader for the catholic church. also in rome today secretary of state john kerry meeting for the first time with syrian rebel leaders to announce a major shift in u.s. policy, but is it enough? for the
are getting word from a wire service that apparently pope benedict the 16th is about to resign. if you go back a year ago when he turned 85, there was some speculation that he might call it quits because of his declining health. there has been no additional update on why the pope is going to resign, but nonetheless the story is out there. we've got reporters on it. and as soon as we know why, we will share that with you. >>gretchen: that will be huge news obviously, so we'll keep you posted. let's go to the other top story which is the extreme weather alert. now we're talking about down south. a massive tornado caught on camera ripping through the heart of has -- hattiesburg, mississippi. >> happening right outside my hotel. check this out. look at that. >>gretchen: the devastating twister leaving at least 4,200 people without power. >> dude, that's insane. >> oh my! >> it's about to hit sam's. >>gretchen: as the tornado traveled down the main street, it mangled homes, businesses and several buildings on the campus of the university of southern mississippi. >> i saw it right around, as it was
. soaking in the cheers, benedict rode in his popemobile, waving, kissing babies. and when he rose to speak, an ovation. it was a frail man today, a marked difference from the day he began his papacy. known as god's rottweiler, he's been a leader bent on defending the traditions of the church in a modern world. but his papacy would be tested by the pain and deceit of the church's sex abuse scandal. today, he spoke of joy and sadness. days of sun and light breezes, when the fishing was abundant. but there were times when the waters were choppy and there were headwinds. times, when he said, it looked as if the lord was sleeping. among those listening, the cardinals. those who will decide benedict's successor. i spoke with cardinal donald wuerl of washington. how about the chances of an american? cardinal dolan, o'malley of boston? >> i think the conventional wisdom, which i think is correct, is a pope from the superpower would probably have a lot going against him, when he's trying to present a spiritual message to the rest of the world. >> reporter: tomorrow night, benedict will no longer be
and msnbc contributor jonathan kapart of the washington post. pope benedict xvi is doing what no pope has done in 719 years. he has decided to ab -- he was elevated to the papacy after the death of pope john paul ii. news of this is reverb rating around the country and around the world. nearly one quarter of the united states, 74 million americans, are catholic, and worldwide there are 1.1 billion members of the church. >> encompassing a range of issues from contraception to policy. the timing of the announcement comes as a surprise. just two days before ash wednesday, which marks the start of the lentin season, the holyist period on the catholic calendar. joining us from washington, the host of msnbc's "hardball" chris matthews, and contributor and washington post columnist e.j. deon. chris, my colleague, the light in the darkness on many things political. >> right. >> what do you make of this announcement coming as it does two days before ash wednesday? it seems like a major surprise. to what degree do you think the catholic church will seize on this as a moment to pivot? >> you may thi
of massive crowds in st. peter's square for pope benedict doing his second to last weekly sunday morning window blessing before his retirement. coming up, the news we have this morning about the secret of conclave cardinals where a successor will be chosen. >> the guessing game is in full effect over who it will be. >>> also this morning a rare sit-down with lebron james of the nba all-star game. you won't believe what his favorite tv show. i'm pet sure the answer will surprise you and a special message for our robin roberts. she will be here in just a few days rejoining us here at "gma." >> that is great and also i was very impressed he was willing to admit his favorite tv show. >>> also the story of a heart transplant with a surprise romantic twist. we've been talking about this story behind the scenes for 24 hours now. we cannot wait to show it to you coming up but let's start this morning with the triple threat in the weather department, the map tells the whole story. we've got a storm heading to new england, another one coming out west and cold snap down south. ginger zee, our in-ho
. they say his mind was as sharp as ever, even at the age of 96. >>> pope benedict is leaving it up to the cardinals of the catholic church when it comes to starting the meeting that will choose his successor. benedict changed the rules, allowing the cardinals to move up the conclave start date if all of them arrive at the vatican before the usual 15-day waiting period ends. benedict's resignation takes effect this coming thursday. >>> prosecutors in italy have asked that manslaughter charges be brought against the captain of "the costa concordia" cruise ship. francisco schettino was at the helm when the ship slammed against a reef and capsized more than a year ago. 32 people, including 2 americans, died in that accident. >>> and coming up after the break, stocks sliding yet again, just days after a historic high. >>> plus, one year later. today, a community remembers trayvon martin. >>> and meltdown, big-time. a traveler's epic tantrum at the check-in counter. all of it, yep, caught on camera. >>> welcome back, everybody. well, fresh fears are sending stocks lower this morning. wit
three days left in his papacy, the vatican wanted the spotlight to be on pope benedict. instead the world is seeing the darker side of the church, the in-fighting and scandals that today claimed britain's highest-ranking catholic. for scotland's cardinal o'brien, the end came with astonishing swiftness. today o'brien resigned and said he will not attend the conclave to elect a new pope. the first cardinal in history to stay away, because of a personal scandal. sunday, a british newspaper published accusations by three priests and a former priest that o'brien engaged in inappropriate behavior with them, going back to the 1980s. >> holy father accepted the resignation -- >> reporter: 24 hours later, pope benedict accepted o'brien's resignation as archbishop of saint andrews and he had en boro. >> the catholic church is in quite a bit of turmoil. >> reporter: o'brien denied the claims and said in a statement today, for any failures, i apologize to all whom i've offended. >> the one that handed me over to you -- >> reporter: just last week, o'brien spoke out about the american cardi
here. they asked us what is going on. nobody really got the news. when they told them pope benedict xvi was redesignisignry didn't know. actually, he can, but obviously, no pope has done that for 700 years. so no wonder people are aware of that. for now on that may change the course of the catholic church in the future as well as pope benedict xvi is setting an example. if you don't have the strength to carry on let someone younger and more strength to carry on the mission. >> it certainly is a monument ool announcement. claudio, thank you very much. >>> this morning we spoke with greg burke the senior communication adviser to the holy see in rome. we began by asking him how much of a surprise this was? >> it is a surprise. i people think had fair warning. it was a few years ago in a book called "light of the world," a long interview with a german journalist. the journalist asked the pope if he would resign. and he said something interesting. in the midst of a candle and all that stuff. he said now is not the time. it's not the time to run when you're in great risk and emergency period.
breaking news. a stunning announcement just coming in from the vatican. pope benedict xvi is resigning. we're live with what's behind his decision and how quickly the next pope will be elected, "today," monday, february 11th, 2013. >> announcer: from nbc news, this is "today" with matt lauer and savannah guthrie live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. >> good morning. welcome to "today" on a monday morning. i'm matt lauer. >> and i'm savannah guthrie. can't say that this is unprecedented for a pope to just step down, but you have to go back 1600 years to find another example of it. pope benedict xvi announcing he is stepping down as leader of the catholic church. huge news for the world's 1 billion catholics. >> and noncatholics as well. the 85-year-old pope made the announcement moments ago, saying his strength is no longer adequate to carry on his duties. in a moment we'll talk about the decision with timothy cardinal dolan, the highest ranking catholic here in the united states. claudeio is in rome. this morning, would you say this is total surprise? >> reporter: matt
more on the first appearance from pope benedict xvi since his announce thamt he ment that he's stepping down at the end of the month. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, matt. this is ash wednesday. it's usually a somber day in the catholic church. there's a celebratory air here in vatican city as the pope begins what some are calling his farewell tour. this morning, the public getting its first chance to express their appreciation for pope benedict since announcing his abdica abdication. with the end of his papacy days away. a church famous for its rituals, vatican officials are working without a script as benedict moves into retirement. what are you going to call pope benedict once he steps down? >> i don't think he will be the pope emeritus. one of his other titles is the bishop of rome. he will probably be the americas bishop of rome sfw. >> reporter: showed a flare for fashion, earning the nickname the prada pope. this monastery is being renovated for pope benedict. it will have a library for the scholarly man and his cat also accompany him. no word yet on whether there
, include iing some rules from pope benedict that change how they pick his replacement. >> the pope has given the cardinals permission to move up the start date of the conclave which will choose his successor. a cardinal that has been in the headlines for the past 24 hours for all the wrong reasons decides to resign and says he's not coming to the conclave. all this is happening while the faithful celebrate the end of benedict's papacy. even in his final days as pope, scandal continues to dog benedict's papacy and the church. headline rumors of blackmail and conspiracy that the vatican vehemental vehemently denies. because of his role protecting abusive priests, decide to stay home. and cardinal o'brian. >> someone has erred in some way or another, it doesn't salt their judgment. >> reporter: today he resigned. ugly headline that is one vatican watcher says will shape the deliberations of the conclave. >> some of this is politics but other parts of it are the long-delayed reckoning with problems that require face iingd correcting in the church. >> reporter: the scandals have left many o
have i i don't in italian across their chests. well, big news out of the vatican today. pope benedict xvi has now moved up the date of the conclave to gather to elect his successor. as another cardinal is still touched by the continuing sex abuse scandal. nbc's ann thompson joins me from rome with more details. first of all, the timing of the conclave, i know the rules allow the cardinals to move it up. what is he saying? when do you think this will begin? >> that's a good question, andrea. despite the pope's actions today, we still don't know when the conclave will exactly start. what the pope did today is give the cardinals the permission to move up the start date with this provico, that all the cardinal electors, all those cardinals under the age of 80 that will vote for the next pope have to be here to decide on the new start date. so the cardinals will start gathering on march 1st, the day after benedict retires, and perhaps they will take a vote, make a decision either march 1st or march 2nd. right now the early date seems to be march 10th, but it's just a guess. nobody is reall
people. pope benedict xvi, the first pope they've known and the old who know how his story is. gathering to hear the last testament. and looking on the cardinal, one of these men could soon be pope, the first from pope benedict, a prayer. a final message to his follower followers. >> ask each of you to pray for me and for the new pope i impart my blessing. thank you. [ applause ] >> reporter: this frail man choosing a quieter life. so very different from his predecessor john paul who stayed until the very end. anthony from pennsylvania witnessed both pope's last sermons. >> they're courage in different ways. in opposite ways but the same degree of courage. >> reporter: the pope summoning the strength to say good-bye, giving up one of the most powerful roles on earth. meeting publicly with the faithful one last time. >> savannah as the pope got up to leave. there was a wave of emotion. people calling out to him, waving good-bye. many people held up banners saying thank you in return. pope benedict told the faithful i have never felt this way. >> thank you. greg burke is the senior communi
. pope benedict's successor, anne thompson is there with more. good morning, anne. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. the conclave to elect pope benedict's successor is scheduled to begin between march 15th and march 20g9, but there is talk it could be moved up because the karmds who will elect the new pope are coming here to rome to say good-bye to pope benedict february 28th. we should hear some word perhaps this week. asked who will succeed pope benedict the pope himself yesterday set off a flurry of speculation at his weekly blessing when he addressed the crowd in spanish, he asked them to pay praise for himself and the future pope. some wondered was he sending a secret signal that he would prefer to see a pope from latin america? i spoke to a vatican spokesman who said there was no secret signal, just the pope offering a prayer. >> anne thompson, thank you. >> nbc's white house correspondent kristen welker is in port st. lucie, traveling with the president. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. president obama heads home later today after a weekend of golf, includin
this way. today about 150,000 people packed st. peter's square for pope benedict xvi's final public good-bye. he drove around the square in his popemobile and kissed a handful of babies much to the delight of the crowd and their parents. of course we know the cardinals will meet march 4th to decide the exact date of the conclave that will pick the next pope. let me bring in my guests. thanks to both of you for being with us. >> thank you. and thanks for getting up so early this morning to cover all of this. >> believe me, it was my pleasure. i had father barren with me. we listened to it together. you know, i said this this morning for people who weren't up at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. it was a very personal set of remarks from this pope. give us what you thought were the headlines here. >> you mentioned the pope kissing babies. i've been to many of those audiences over the years. he has never done that. in his talk he mentioned that he is the papa, the father of the catholic family. so i saw a line between what he did on the way in and the talk he gave which you're right was very per
. eddie routh has been charged with murdering kyle and his friend, chad littlefield. >>> pope benedict told ash wednesday worshipers he is resigning for the good of the roman catholic church. his service at the vatican this morning is among his last official duties as pope. and is the first time he's been in public since making his bombshell resignation announcement. some worshipers cheered when they saw benedict. his term officially ends february 28th. >>> and bookies are looking to make big bucks taking bets on who will be chosen as the next pope. right now, canadian cardinal marc ouellet is the 3-1 favorite. he would become the first north american pope. >>> people in cape cod are still struggling to clean up the damage after last weekend's monster blizzard. the storm that dumped more than three feet of snow on the northeast also caused widespread beach erosion, washing away 20 feet to 30 feet of real estate. there was also property damage along the beach. elsewhere in massachusetts, boston students return to school for the first time since the blizzard. they're doing so today. wow.
, pope benedict moves to allow catholic church leaders to get started faster on picking his successor. powerful politics will drive that big decision. >>> also this morning, a deep dive in understanding the importance of the latest campaign finance case that the supreme court will tackle. it could very well change everything -- again. >>> good monday morning from downtown pennsylvania. it's february, the 25th, 2013. and this is "the daily rundown." now here's chuck todd. >>> thank you to stacy mitchell and that giant cup of coffee. i want a mug that big. that's how much coffee i need to drink in the morning. keep those videos coming. >>> let's get to my first readers of the morning. there are fewer than 100 hours until the budget act falls on friday. and just two hours from now the president will meet with the nation's governors kicking off what will be a very busy week in american politics. actually in world politics. tomorrow president obama takes his sequester pr campaign to virginia. chuck hagel gets a vote on the senate floor. he'll be confirmed. the question is do any more repub
. >>> plus, just released details about what will happen once pope benedict xvi retires later this week. including how he will now be addressed and what happens to his trademark red shoes. >>> but, first, a look ahead at today's politics planner. you know where the president is, but some other big news. senate vote on chuck hagel. speaker boehner has a big meaner today, speech that he's giving. we'll hear from him. john mccain and lindsey graham go to the white house to talk immigration. ♪ looking for a litter with natural ingredients that helps neutralize odors. discover tidy cats pure nature. uniquely formulated with cedar, pine, and corn. [ female announcer ] roc® retinol correxion max. the power of roc® retinol is intensified with a serum. it's proven to be 4x better at smoothing lines and deep wrinkles than professional treatments. roc® max for maximum results. [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ mal
about 100 miles north of tokyo. no damage reported at nuclear plants. >>> pope benedict, in his final week of his papacy. his resignation becomes official on thursday. about 100,000 people were there for his final sunday blessing. today, he's expected to issue new rules allowing the cardinals to bring forth the start of the conclave which will elect the next pope. >>> to washington, where it's four days until the automatic spending cuts kick in. the president is warning about devastating consequences. still, there's no deal on the table. tahman bradley reports from washington. >> reporter: democrats and republicans are set to introduce proposals to stop the across the board spending cuts. neither side thinks a bill can get through congress before friday's deadline. >> unless the republicans are willing to compromise, and do a balanced approach, i think it will kick in. >> it will kick in. >> reporter: president obama is turning up pressure on congressional republicans with his administration details how the program cuts will affect spending in every state. >> thousands of educators wi
-old and his brother fidel ruled cuba 1959. >>> pope benedict changed the rule about his succession. religion correspondent lauren green explains there is uncertainty and controversy about the replacement process. >> pope benedict xvi signed a special legal document to clear the way for cardinals to move up the start date of the conclave once the papal seat is vacated. 15-day transition period to start the process and choose a new pope was set in 1996 and could only be changed by another pope. one of his last official acts before stepping down thursday. no date has been set for conclave to begin. >> we cannot expect it to take place before marm 1. we have no other information until cardinals decide and general congregation when the date will come. >> there is going to be one less cardinal voting in conclave. o'brien of scotland british highest ranking catholic leader is retiring and will not be attending. the resignation as archbishop of st. andrews and edinburgh is part of mandatory age requirement but comes in the wake of allegation of misconduct. british newspapers report o'brian has be ac
in the square, chanting viva el papa and benedict, benedict. we will zoom in where you can see those with the lights on our apartments of the pope. those lights are on, meaning that the pope is still awake and probably is still packing up. we were told that probably he will take away with him only a number of documents that we would like to have with him when he finally retires in the convent. today is one historic event after the other. this morning the last general that gave the chance to people to see the pope for the one last time here in the vatican and now the pope leaving the apartments. that's also unheard of in the last 600 years. popes left their apartment only after they died. >> the pope has his final tweet today. it said if only everyone could experience the joy of being christian and being loved by god who gave his son for us all. that twitter account will go silent until the next pope. >> yes, it will be indeed. the pope did have a long address today. he said he had many moments of joy, but he had choppy waters. they were meant to be references to the scandal that marr
? >> all right, al. thank you. >>> now to rome and pope benedict's final days as leader of the catholic church. moments ago the vatican announced new details about the pope's life after he steps down. let's get to nbc's anne thompson at the vatican this morning. anne, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, savannah. we now know what pope benedict will be called once he retires. if you run into him, you address him as his holiness, pope benedict xvi, or roman pontiff emeritus. he won't wear the white cape you've seen him wear as pope. and then those shoes that he's so very fond of, well, they go. he will have to switch to brown shoes. we understand he'll wear a pair he was given on a trip to mexico. all of those details are coming out as the world gets a glimpse of the sometimes ugly gamesmanship that goes on in this beautiful setting. cardinal keith o'brien, briton's highest ranking catholic and its only vote in the upcoming papal conclave is staying away, accused of improper behavior with four young priests going back to the 1980s, detailed in a british newspaper sunday that o
benedict xvi saying goodbye to cardinals before going off to retirement. he said he would pray for them as they choose his successor. about 11 a.m. eastern time benedict will fly to the papal retreat. he becomes the first pope in nearly 600 years to retire. >> very sad news, a tv news anchor woman is -- no, good news. safe at home. at 5 a.m. she was still missing. after a safe missing person scare, family members of paula lopez contacted police when they couldn't get in touch with her and became increasingly concerned. it is believed they found her later that night. she works at the station keyt in santa barbara, california. >> he jeopardized men and women fighting overseas. in a few hours he will break had i silence on why he did. he's going to tell a judge it was to spark a debate on our military policy. he is facing 22 charges including aiding the enemy and could receive life behind bars. >> remember that las vegas bash held by the g.s.a. that cost you more than $800,000? it was only the tip of the iceberg. a congressional report shows taxpayers paid $340 million for nearly 900 confe
. appreciate that from you. more coming up. >>> now to the vatican, where moments ago, pope benedict made history, delivering his weekly sunday prayers from the balcony for the last time before he retires this thursday. all this, as the vatican is fighting back against the swirl of scandal with the pope's spokesman making extraordinary accusations against the media. abc's david wright is in rome. >> reporter: this was the last time we will see him in the window for the pope's weekly appointment with the faithful. this time, next week, the papal apartment will be sealed for his successor. the elections, or at least the campaign, well under way. it's an election like no other, an absolute monarch, elected by princes who are appointed, the men in red, one of whom will end up wearing white. palace intrigue is part of the history going back 2,000 years. >> through the course of centuries, cardinals have to face many forms of pressure. >> reporter: now the vatican says that the media is trying to meddle. >> today, there is an attempt to do this through public opinion. >> reporter: salacious cha
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